Our entire organization has re-engineered its operations in the midst of this crisis – superbly! We are serving in new ways wherever we can, within safety protocols. We continue to have “essential service” staff on the front lines serving client’s needs at each of our five sites; Wheaton, Warrenville, Carol Stream, West Chicago and Lombard. Vital services including youth development, family stabilization and counseling, older adults programs, transitional housing and employment opportunity programs could simply not be possible without the dedication and commitment from staff and volunteers alike –their devotion is a blessing to all we serve.
Our Partner Churches: Our partner churches are stepping up with help to do God’s work. A number of churches have identified new ways to help during this time of social distancing from virtual mentoring to a ‘shoppers helpers’ ministry to support our seniors. Care and Share grants have been received from two churches, one business and one foundation partner to expand our Crisis Emergency Fund.
The “New Reality” At Our Resale Stores: Staff, volunteers and customers are eager to re-open Jubilee Furniture and Discoveries. Plans are in place to “safely engineer” our stores during this gradual re-opening. After initially being closed for the last several weeks, we have launched our ‘virtual’ store at Jubilee Furniture, where you can shop current inventory online through the OCM website, with curbside pick-up available. We are in the process of instituting all necessary safety protocols for when we are able to officially open our doors and welcome customers again.
Status with Our Stimulus Bill Application: Thank you for your prayers! Both our local bank (Providence) and our Business Office were fully prepared on day one to submit our loan application, under the federal Stimulus Bill. Our Stimulus Bill application was approved and our loan has been received! We praise God that this loan will allow us to retain our staff and our ministries through the summer. Now we pray for Step Three – careful management over several weeks to maximize the amount of ‘forgiveness’ we receive for this loan.
Summer Youth Development Plans: Our staff are working on Options A, B or C for summer youth programming – can we, how do we, ease back into group activities? It’s hard to predict right now so we need creative options. We are praying for wisdom, guidance and unexpected evidence of His guidance and care.
Urgent Need: Summer Youth Employment Program: This program places 25 high school students in our college prep program into paid work experience internships over the summer. We lost our funding, due in part to COVID-19’s dramatic impact on two of our business partners. We have two applications out to emergency response grants seeking $50,000 to cover student stipends and summer staff who provide employment oversight, academic and life skills classes which are an integral component of the program. Our students are motivated – so we are praying for unexpected evidence of God’s care to provide for this need!